Ontario Triumphs Over BC To Be Crowned National T20 Champions!
In a match that was a fitting conclusion to an impressively staged five-day tournament and worthily competitive as a Final, Ontario defeated British Columbia by 5 wickets to claim the coveted title of Canadian National 2022 T20 Champions. Ontario’s very strong batting line-up, comprised as it was of a plethora of Canadian National team batsmen, was in the end just that much too strong to endure any insurmountable challenges in surpassing BC’s posted, decidedly insufficient, 20-overs total of 151-4.
The highlight of BC’s 151-4 was yet another delightful half-century from the Canadian National team’s recently debuted opening batsman, Aaron Johnson. The Jamaican-born Johnson who made his Canadian debut in a recent July 7 50 Over friendly match against Nepal, struck 7 fours in his 40-ball fifty. He and Anoop Raini (18) combined for an opening partnership of 51 that was made in 7.4 overs. Johnson then added 31 with Bhupinder Singh (23), before he was eventually deceived by Parveen Kumar’s clever slower delivery to be caught and bowled, almost immediately after he’d completed his half-century celebrations.
BC’s hard-hitting skipper, National Canadian batsman Ravi Singh, tried desperately to provide his team’s innings with the impetus necessary to achieve a sufficiently challenging first-strike total. Singh’s aggressively struck 38, with 5 fours included, only required 21 balls. It proved to be in vain though as he departed, bowled by Shahbaz Kayani off the fourth ball of the 20th over, with the score on 149.
Shahbas Kayani returned the best figures among the six Ontario bowlers used, all of whom were relatively expensive. He claimed 1/18 from his 3 overs.
Set an undaunting 152/20 overs for victory, Ontario’s openers Rayyan Pathan and Shubham Sharma went about their task as if there were only half that many available balls to be faced. Sharma was a virtual non-striking spectator as Pathan, the tournament’s leading run-scorer, carved BC’s opening bowlers to every part of the King City outfield.
Pathan struck 2 sixes and 3 fours, 24 boundary runs in total in his 12-ball innings of 25. Had he not been caught at long-off somewhat needlessly attempting to hit yet another boundary off the fourth ball of the third over, the first three of which had produced 6, 4 and 6, BC’s posted 151 run total might indeed have been surpassed within under 10 overs.
Sharma (3) perhaps attempting to duplicate Pathan’s fireworks was dismissed soon after, caught by Bhupinder Singh off the bowling of Udaybir Singh Walia with the score on 32. Ontario’s skipper Navneet Dhaliwal, whose role with the Canadian National team is identical, however steadied the innings with a typically composed knock of 27 that was made off of 23 balls. Dhaliwal’s innings was punctuated by 1 six and 3 fours.
Dhaliwal’s was the third wicket to fall, departing as he did with the score on 86/3-9.5 overs. He and Armaan Kapoor (40) had added 54 for the third wicket.
Kapoor’s useful 40 was made off of 27 balls and included 5 fours. After Kapoor fell, bowled by Newab Singh off the third ball of the thirteenth over, there was the quick further loss of Parveen Kumar whose short-lived innings of 4 lasted only 6 balls. Kapoor fell with the score on 118/5 after 14.1 overs raising BC hope of q come from behind victory.
Whatever hopes the BC players and their visiting supporters may have harboured for such an unlikely victory were effectively squashed by an unbeaten 34-runs sixth wicket partnership between Canadian National team all-rounders Harsh Thakar and Saad Bin Zafar. Thakar scored 29* off 21 balls with one six and a four. Zafar’s contribution was 21* off 16 balls with 2 fours.
The pair saw Ontario home to victory without any further stress, to the gleeful delight of their fellow team members. Following the match’s conclusion there were presentations of numerous awards to the tournament’s outstanding players, as well of course the Championship trophy to Ontario’s captain Navneet Dhaliwal.
Ontario’s Rayyan Pathan who scored 254 runs from 5 innings at an average of 63.50 and at a strike rate of 145.14 was named the tournament’s CO-MVP alongside Aaron Johnson of BC. Johnson’s 208 tournament runs were scored from 6 innings at an average of 34.67 with a 139.50 strike rate.
Earlier in the day, Quebec 133/8-20 overs had persevered over Nova Scotia 121/6-20 to claim a narrow twelve runs victory and third place in the tournament’s final standings. Quebec captain Shreyas Movva again provided the backbone of his team innings with a top score of 34, made from 45 balls with 5 fours. Zeeshan Ansari 2/17-2, Shadab Ahmed 2/19-4 and Rahul Vashishtha 2/25-3 were Nova Scotia’s top wicket-takers.
Chasing 134 for victory in 20 overs at a run rate of under 7 runs per over, Nova Scotia came close but not close enough, agonizingly falling short of their victory total by just 12 runs. Neel Patel’s ever 50, made off 34 balls with 1 six and 9 fours was the top score of the Nova Scotia innings. Bowling for Quebec, Ramki Gangasani 2/23-3 was the top wicket-taker,
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